The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by recyclability, automation, and increasing the shelf life of the product, and the growing importance of technologies, such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Things, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 310,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Packaging: Antibacterial waterproof packaging paper.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

80+ innovations will shape the packaging industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 87,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, web dispensers for rotary baggage wrappers, multilayer laminated packaging, and oxygen blocking laminate packaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Water-soluble packaging films, cartridge type beverage dispensers, and medical syringe packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are detachable drawer-and-shell type containers and barrier coated containers, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the packaging industry 

Antibacterial waterproof packaging paper is a key innovation area in packaging 

The presence of antibacterial waterproof layers and a paper layer helps the antimicrobial waterproof packaging to ensure increased product protection against harmful microbes. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of antibacterial waterproof packaging paper. 

Key players in antibacterial waterproof packaging paper – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry   

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to antibacterial waterproof packaging paper

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Stora Enso 227 Unlock company profile
Kemira 59 Unlock company profile
Philip Morris International 53 Unlock company profile
Kuraray 44 Unlock company profile
FiberLean Technologies 43 Unlock company profile
BASF 42 Unlock company profile
Westrock 40 Unlock company profile
Nippon Paper Industries 38 Unlock company profile
BillerudKorsnas 35 Unlock company profile
International Paper 33 Unlock company profile
Omya International 33 Unlock company profile
delfortgroup 32 Unlock company profile
Tetra Laval International 28 Unlock company profile
AGC 25 Unlock company profile
Dow 25 Unlock company profile
Ashland 24 Unlock company profile
Daikin Industries 22 Unlock company profile
DIC 22 Unlock company profile
Henkel 22 Unlock company profile
Yagna 19 Unlock company profile
Solenis Technologies 18 Unlock company profile
Mondi 17 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 15 Unlock company profile
MP Global Products 14 Unlock company profile
China Tobacco International HK 14 Unlock company profile
Huhtamaki 13 Unlock company profile
Hankuk Paper Manufacturing 12 Unlock company profile
Humanitarian Scientific 12 Unlock company profile
Toppan 12 Unlock company profile
Hansol Holdings 11 Unlock company profile
Les Laboratoires Servier 11 Unlock company profile
Mativ Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
Rhodia Acetow 10 Unlock company profile
Oji Holdings 9 Unlock company profile
Klabin 9 Unlock company profile
Ahlstrom-Munksjo 9 Unlock company profile
Ecolab 9 Unlock company profile
China Tobacco Yunnan Industrial 9 Unlock company profile
YFY 8 Unlock company profile
Pratt Industries 8 Unlock company profile
Anheuser-Busch InBev 8 Unlock company profile
Exxon Mobil 8 Unlock company profile
Smurfit Kappa Group 8 Unlock company profile
InnoGEL 8 Unlock company profile
Anhui Shuntong Packaging Material 8 Unlock company profile
Japan Tobacco 7 Unlock company profile
Michelman 7 Unlock company profile
Bk Giulini 7 Unlock company profile
Graphic Packaging Holding 7 Unlock company profile
Visy Industries Holdings 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Stora Enso is one of the leading patent filers in antibacterial waterproof packaging paper. Some other key patent filers space include Kemira, Philip Morris International, Kuraray, and FiberLean Technologies. 

In terms of application diversity, Pratt Industries leads the pack, while MP Global Products and Huhtamaki stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Yagna held the top position, followed by Ashland and Ecolab, respectively. 

Recently, scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health developed a waterproof, biodegradable, and antibacterial food packaging that is claimed to kill harmful microbes thereby extending the shelf life of food products. 

With consumers looking for greater product safety and hygiene, antibacterial waterproof packaging paper is expected to gain popularity and will potentially become an important product in the packaging industry. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.